Grave Peril

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2001

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal, vampire

Series: The Dresden Files; 3

ISBN: 9780451458445

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 378

Setting: Chicago, IL and the Nevernever

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Harry Dresden and his knight friend, Michael, have been very busy in recent times dispatching agitated ghosts.  Something has been stirring up the Nevernever and this has made the ghosts in Chicago extra ornery and dangerous.  On top of this, a demon, The Nightmare, is targeting some of Harry’s friends and causing them tremendous pain; this demon seems to be linked to the agitated ghosts.  Even if Harry can figure out who or what is behind the attacks on his friends, will he be strong enough to stop it?

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Fast pace – lots of action; Harry is constantly moving between perilous dangers.

Characterization: Told in first person through Harry.  There are a few familiar characters in this story, but their roles are much smaller than in previous books (with one exception – Bianca).  A few new characters are introduced, including the knight, Michael, and Harry’s sidhe godmother, Lea.

Frame: The story begins with a conversation between Harry and Michael about Harry’s love life while they are on their way to a ghostly site.  The essence of this talk about love and the power of words becomes increasingly important as the story progresses.

Story line: A complex plot with lots of twists and turns.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Wizards — Illinois — Chicago — Fiction.

Fantasy fiction.

Similar authors: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Rob Thurman, Charlie Huston, Charlaine Harris

Personal notes: This was a really good book, but I didn’t like it as much in the beginning as the first two books in the series.  I’m not sure if this is because of the characters or the way the plot was laid out, but it was harder for me to get into this story than the previous two.  Once I got a bit past halfway through the story, I was definitely hooked, but that moment came much earlier for me with the past two books.  I also didn’t have any laugh out loud moments with this book like I did with the first two.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – wizard, knight, ghosts, sidhe (faerie), spirit, vampires

Jim Butcher’s website

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